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Darren J Wostenberg, Nikki Walker, Karen A Fox, Terry R Spraker, Antoinette J Piaggio, Amy Gilbert
Canine distemper virus (CDV) is a highly contagious pathogen that principally infects wildlife and domestic carnivores. Peridomestic species such as raccoons ( Procyon lotor) experience outbreaks with high mortality. Clinical signs of infection include anorexia, fever, respiratory infection, and neurologic complications. Although not zoonotic, CDV poses a high risk to unvaccinated domestic animals and the conservation of endangered species. During 2013-2016, we opportunistically collected wild and domestic carnivore specimens through a rabies surveillance program in northern Colorado...
March 2, 2018: Journal of Wildlife Diseases
Bryan M Kluever, Eric M Gese, Steven J Dempsey
Anthropogenic manipulation of finite resources on the landscape to benefit individual species or communities is commonly employed by conservation and management agencies. One such action in arid regions is the construction and maintenance of water developments (i.e., wildlife guzzlers) adding free water on the landscape to buttress local populations, influence animal movements, or affect distributions of certain species of interest. Despite their prevalence, the utility of wildlife guzzlers remains largely untested...
April 2017: Current Zoology
Yunlong Qin, Todd G Smith, Felix Jackson, Nadia F Gallardo-Romero, Clint N Morgan, Victoria Olson, Christina L Hutson, Xianfu Wu
This study investigates the production of rabies virus (RABV) neutralizing antibody after virus infection through a mouse model. The BALB/c mice from different age groups (three, five, seven week old) were intramuscularly inoculated with live rabies virus (TX coyote 323R). Without pre-exposure or post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), we found there is a decreased fatality with increased age of animals, the mortalities are 60%, 50%, and 30%, respectively. Interestingly, through assay of rapid fluorescent focus inhibition test (RFFIT), direct fluorescent antibody (DFA) and quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR), the results showed that all the animals that succumbed to rabies challenge, except one, developed circulating neutralizing antibodies, and all the healthy animals, except two, did not generate virus neutralizing antibodies (VNA)...
February 19, 2018: Virus Research
Randall S Reiserer, Gordon W Schuett, Harry W Greene
Seed dispersal is a key evolutionary process and a central theme in the population ecology of terrestrial plants. The primary producers of most land-based ecosystems are propagated by and maintained through various mechanisms of seed dispersal that involve both abiotic and biotic modes of transportation. By far the most common biotic seed transport mechanism is zoochory, whereby seeds, or fruits containing them, are dispersed through the activities of animals. Rodents are one group of mammals that commonly prey on seeds (granivores) and play a critical, often destructive, role in primary dispersal and the dynamics of plant communities...
February 14, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
L Mark Elbroch, Anna Kusler
Background: Interspecific competition affects species fitness, community assemblages and structure, and the geographic distributions of species. Established dominance hierarchies among species mitigate the need for fighting and contribute to the realized niche for subordinate species. This is especially important for apex predators, many of which simultaneous contend with the costs of competition with more dominant species and the costs associated with human hunting and lethal management...
2018: PeerJ
Marcus A Mueller, David Drake, Maximilian L Allen
Urban environments are increasing worldwide and are inherently different than their rural counterparts, with a variety of effects on wildlife due to human presence, increased habitat fragmentation, movement barriers, and access to anthropogenic food sources. Effective management of urban wildlife requires an understanding of how urbanization affects their behavior and ecology. The spatial activity and interactions of urban wildlife, however, have not been as rigorously researched as in rural areas. From January 2015 to December 2016, we captured, radio-collared, and tracked 11 coyotes and 12 red foxes in Madison, WI...
2018: PloS One
Emma C L Finlayson-Trick, Landon J Getz, Patrick D Slaine, Mackenzie Thornbury, Emily Lamoureux, Jamie Cook, Morgan G I Langille, Lois E Murray, Craig McCormick, John R Rohde, Zhenyu Cheng
Host diet influences the diversity and metabolic activities of the gut microbiome. Previous studies have shown that the gut microbiome provides a wide array of enzymes that enable processing of diverse dietary components. Because the primary diet of the porcupine, Erethizon dorsatum, is lignified plant material, we reasoned that the porcupine microbiome would be replete with enzymes required to degrade lignocellulose. Here, we report on the bacterial composition in the porcupine microbiome using 16S rRNA sequencing and bioinformatics analysis...
2017: PloS One
Borja Figueirido, Alejandro Pérez-Ramos, Blaine W Schubert, Francisco Serrano, Aisling B Farrell, Francisco J Pastor, Aline A Neves, Alejandro Romero
During the late Pleistocene of North America (≈36,000 to 10,000 years ago), saber-toothed cats, American lions, dire wolves, and coyotes competed for prey resources at Rancho La Brea (RLB). Despite the fact that the giant short-faced bear (Arctodus simus) was the largest land carnivoran present in the fauna, there is no evidence that it competed with these other carnivores for prey at the site. Here, for the first time, we report carious lesions preserved in specimens of A. simus, recovered from RLB. Our results suggest that the population of A...
December 19, 2017: Scientific Reports
M Colter Chitwood, Marcus A Lashley, Christopher E Moorman, Christopher S DePerno
An evolutionary trap occurs when an organism makes a formerly adaptive decision that now results in a maladaptive outcome. Such traps can be induced by anthropogenic environmental changes, with nonnative species introductions being a leading cause. The recent establishment of coyotes ( Canis latrans ) into the southeastern USA has the potential to change white-tailed deer ( Odocoileus virginianus ) population dynamics through direct predation and behavioral adaptation. We used movement rate and bedsite characteristics of radiocollared neonates to evaluate their antipredator strategies in the context of novel predation risk in a structurally homogeneous, fire-maintained ecosystem...
2017: Journal of Ethology
Bong Hwan Choi, Hasini I Wijayananda, Soo Hyun Lee, Doo Ho Lee, Jong Seok Kim, Seok Il Oh, Eung Woo Park, Cheul Koo Lee, Seung Hwan Lee
There are various hypotheses on dog domestication based on archeological and genetic studies. Although many studies have been conducted on the origin of dogs, the existing literature about the ancestry, diversity, and population structure of Korean dogs is sparse. Therefore, this study is focused on the origin, diversity and population structure of Korean dogs. The study sample comprised four major categories, including non-dogs (coyotes and wolves), ancient, modern and Korean dogs. Selected samples were genotyped using an Illumina CanineHD array containing 173,662 single nucleotide polymorphisms...
2017: PloS One
Guillaume Bastille-Rousseau, James A Schaefer, Michael J L Peers, E Hance Ellington, Matthew A Mumma, Nathaniel D Rayl, Shane P Mahoney, Dennis L Murray
For many organisms, climate change can directly drive population declines, but it is less clear how such variation may influence populations indirectly through modified biotic interactions. For instance, how will climate change alter complex, multi-species relationships that are modulated by climatic variation and that underlie ecosystem-level processes? Caribou (Rangifer tarandus), a keystone species in Newfoundland, Canada, provides a useful model for unravelling potential and complex long-term implications of climate change on biotic interactions and population change...
November 22, 2017: Oecologia
Jeffrey C Hertz, Bambi C Ferree Clemons, Cynthia C Lord, Sandra A Allan, Phillip E Kaufman
A tick survey was conducted to document tick-host associations with Florida (USA) wildlife, and to determine the relative abundance and distribution of ixodid ticks throughout the state. The survey was conducted using collection kits distributed to licensed Florida hunters as well as the examination of archived specimens from ongoing state wildlife research programs. Collected tick samples were obtained from 66% of Florida counties and were collected from nine wildlife hosts, including black bear, bobcat, coyote, deer, gray fox, Florida panther, raccoon, swine, and wild turkey...
October 2017: Experimental & Applied Acarology
J D Scasta, B Stam, J L Windh
Pastoralists have dealt with livestock losses from predators for millennia, yet effective mitigation strategies that balance wildlife conservation and sustainable agriculture are still needed today. In Wyoming, USA, 274 ranchers responded to a retrospective survey, and rated the efficacy of predation mitigation strategies for foxes, dogs, coyotes, wolves, bobcats, mountain lions, bears, and birds (buzzards, eagles, hawks, ravens). Rancher reported efficacy of mitigation varied by predator species, mitigation strategy, and lethality of strategies, but not livestock type...
October 26, 2017: Scientific Reports
Richard W Gerhold, Pooja Saraf, Alycia Chapman, Xuan Zou, Graham Hickling, William H Stiver, Allan Houston, Marcy Souza, Chunlei Su
BACKGROUND: Toxoplasma gondii is a widespread protozoan parasite that infects humans and other animals. Previous studies indicate some genotypes of T. gondii are more frequently isolated in wildlife than agricultural animals, suggesting a wild/feral animal diversity model. To determine seroprevalence and genetic diversity of T. gondii in southeastern US wildlife, we collected sera from 471 wild animals, including 453 mammals and 18 birds, between 2011 and 2014. These serum samples were assayed for T...
October 23, 2017: Parasites & Vectors
James Sacco, Sarah Mann, Keller Toral
BACKGROUND: Genetic polymorphisms within the glutathione S-transferase P1 (GSTP1) gene affect the elimination of toxic xenobiotics by the GSTP1 enzyme. In dogs, exposure to environmental chemicals that may be GSTP1 substrates is associated with cancer. The objectives of this study were to investigate the genetic variability in the GSTP1 promoter in a diverse population of 278 purebred dogs, compare the incidence of any variants found between breeds, and predict their effects on gene expression...
2017: Canine Genetics and Epidemiology
Matthew A Mumma, Joseph D Holbrook, Nathaniel D Rayl, Christopher J Zieminski, Todd K Fuller, John F Organ, Shane P Mahoney, Lisette P Waits
Anthropogenic disturbances have altered species' distributions potentially impacting interspecific interactions. Interference competition is when one species denies a competing species access to a resource. One mechanism of interference competition is aggression, which can result in altered space-use of a subordinate species due to the threat of harm, otherwise known as a 'landscape of fear'. Alternatively, subordinates might outcompete dominant species in resource-poor environments via a superior ability to extract resources...
December 2017: Oecologia
Robyn M Nadolny, Holly D Gaff
The ixodid tick species Ixodes affinis is expanding its range northward, changing the tick community population dynamics in the Mid-Atlantic United States. We present five years of surveillance on newly established populations of I. affinis throughout southeastern Virginia and discuss the habitat and host associations of I. affinis in this northernmost extent of its range. We found that I. affinis populations tend to persist once they are established, and populations tend to increase as ecological succession progresses, provided a vegetated understory persists...
September 29, 2017: Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases
Erika T Stevenson, Eric M Gese, Lorin A Neuman-Lee, Susannah S French
Knowledge of endocrine stress responses can be advantageous for understanding how animals respond to their environment. One tool in wildlife endocrinology is to measure the adrenocortical activity as a parameter of disturbance of animals. Fecal glucocorticoid metabolites (GCMs) provide a noninvasive assessment of adrenocortical activity. Using an adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) challenge administered to 28 captive coyotes (Canis latrans), we measured the levels of plasma cortisol, and fecal cortisol and corticosterone metabolites (i...
October 7, 2017: Journal of Comparative Physiology. B, Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology
Alex D Rygg, Blaire Van Valkenburgh, Brent A Craven
Nasal airflow plays a critical role in olfaction by transporting odorant from the environment to the olfactory epithelium, where chemical detection occurs. Most studies of olfaction neglect the unsteadiness of sniffing and assume that nasal airflow and odorant transport are "quasi-steady," wherein reality most mammals "sniff." Here, we perform computational fluid dynamics simulations of airflow and odorant deposition in an anatomically accurate model of the coyote (Canis latrans) nasal cavity during quiet breathing, a notional quasi-steady sniff, and unsteady sniffing to: quantify the influence of unsteady sniffing, assess the validity of the quasi-steady assumption, and investigate the functional advantages of sniffing compared to breathing...
October 1, 2017: Chemical Senses
Joanne Maki, Anne-Laure Guiot, Michel Aubert, Bernard Brochier, Florence Cliquet, Cathleen A Hanlon, Roni King, Ernest H Oertli, Charles E Rupprecht, Caroline Schumacher, Dennis Slate, Boris Yakobson, Anne Wohlers, Emily W Lankau
RABORAL V-RG(®) is an oral rabies vaccine bait that contains an attenuated ("modified-live") recombinant vaccinia virus vector vaccine expressing the rabies virus glycoprotein gene (V-RG). Approximately 250 million doses have been distributed globally since 1987 without any reports of adverse reactions in wildlife or domestic animals since the first licensed recombinant oral rabies vaccine (ORV) was released into the environment to immunize wildlife populations against rabies. V-RG is genetically stable, is not detected in the oral cavity beyond 48 h after ingestion, is not shed by vaccinates into the environment, and has been tested for thermostability under a range of laboratory and field conditions...
September 22, 2017: Veterinary Research
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